Techno Stuff
How They Work - Sequence and winner units

Most of the stuff in the techno details section of the site uses Surf Club as the example machine. We are going to have to pick something else this time, because the sequence and winner units are only used in screen games and are responsible for the section scoring.

The reason these guys exist is due to the way the sections are scored in a screen game. All you need is three (sometimes only two) numbers lit anywhere in the section to get a payout. This is significantly different from the in-line scoring, which requires that adjacent numbers be lit.

In in-line scoring, clever use of the search relays lets the game scan an entire line at once, and if three adjacent seach relays close, the game stops and pays out. In section scoring, the game stops whenever a single number in a section is lit, and then the sequence and winner units take over and count how many numbers in the section are lit by examining each hole one at a time.

The sequence unit is stepping up and looking at the holes, and if a ball is in the hole, the winner unit is stepped up. If the winner unit steps up at least three times, the game pays out.

Michael Sands wrote up a cookbook for testing section scoring which we swiped and posted.

Stopping the search wipers

Let's dig in. The process starts by the search wipers scanning the holes for winners. If a win is detected, the search index coil is powered to hold the search wipers on the winner until the correct payout level is reached.

As mentioned above, searching sections is handled completely differently. The search wipers stop if at least one (or maybe up to three) balls are in the section being looked at.

search index lock
golden gate
stopping the search wipers

The circuit starts at the top of the diagram with the CU changeover cam switch 15A. This switch flops the game between inline and section scoring, and for section scoring directs the current into switches on search relays 1-4. Note that on screen games, there are six search relays, because the largest section has six numbers in it. So why are only four search relays in the circuit?

The game has two types of sections - regular and the striped supersections. If the supersection feature is lit, then the game behaves like one of the numbers in the section is already lit. 2-in-section scores as the required 3, 3-in-section scores as 4, etc.

For regular sections, you must have at least three numbers in the section lit. This means in the worst case, you have closed search relays #5, #6, and one of search relays #1-#4.

Supersections need only two numbers in the section lit, but both supersections have five numbers each. Therefore, the worst case is you have search relay #5 and one other search relay in the #1-#4 set.

So only four search relays need to be wired into the circuit to stop the search wipers. The other two relays can be left out to save wiring. Economical, eh?

Once we have our 50V passed to wire #52-8 coming out of the search relays, we just need to get it down to the search index coil. It passes through the right branch along the purple path which is closed when the sequence unit is reset. The branch has been nicely labelled "seq unit close at zero". Bally was helpful sometimes.

stopping the search | winner detection | payout | super sections